The Alias Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 is 93% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% Syrah sourced from vineyards in more than one California grape growing AVA. Alias Wines started off as a side project for a group of 8 young California winemakers, they called themselves the Gang of 8. They all had friends and contacts with growers and wineries and they would purchase excess grapes and/or juice and create their own wines. As insiders, they were able to find quality grapes and/or juice and at a bargain price. We reviewed their 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon and as I recall it was one of only a handful of under $10 Cabs that actually provided a real California Cabernet Sauvignon experience. Alias is no longer a side project and the Gang of 8 is down to three, but the mission is still the same. The winemaker’s notes mention French and American oak, it does not say if the wine saw oak barrels or some other source of oak seasoning. At under $10 (I found it for $8.99) it is rare to see oak barrels used, since they can cost $1,000 each and can quickly add to the production costs. The alcohol content is 13.8%.
The color is a see-thru plum red with an almost clear halo. The nose is blackberry, molasses, dark chocolate and baking spices. A dark and brooding nose is a good start for a sub ten buck Cab. This is a medium-bodied wine, smooth, with rich flavors and a balanced amount of structure. It tastes of blackberry, black Twizzlers, cranberry and vanilla. The mid-palate added milk chocolate, a little pepper and a touch of exotic spice. As an under $10 Cabernet, the Alias does not have the heft of more expensive Cabs, but other than that it does a really nice job. The finish is a mix of smooth fruit and spice and it lingers for a very respectable amount of time.
The Alias Cabernet Sauvignon is an impressive nine dollar Cabernet Sauvignon. We are in the golden age of inexpensive wine. For a long time, cheap Pinot Noir didn’t show much relationship to the more expensive Pinots. But today, Pinot Noir provides some of the best bargain wine. That left inexpensive California Cabs as being a mere shadow of the pricier stuff and now the Alias Cab is proving that to be wrong. Pair this Cabernet Sauvignon with fajitas, pork chops, Popeye’s Spicy Fried Chicken or throw a rib eye on the grill.